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justly, therefore, havî p^ewnmed that their own aueestcrs, Po highly celebrated, possessed no greater v'rii'e, ami were us much inferior to their posterity in honour and hnmanity as in taste and science. An ancient Frank or Saxon may be, highly extolled; but I believe every man would think his life or fortune much less secure in the hands of a Moor or Tartar thau those of a French or English gentleman, the rank of men the most civilized iii the most civilized nations.
We come now to the second position which we propose to illustrate, to wit, that as innocent luxury or л refinement in the aits and conveniences of life is advantageous to the public, но wherever luxury ceases to be innocent, it also ceases to be beneficial; and when carried ¡i degree further, begins to be a quality pernicious, though perhaps not the most pernicious, to political society.
Let us consider what we call vicious luxury. No gratification, however sensual, can of itself Ьэ esteemed vicious, Л gratification is only vicious when it engrosses all a man's expense, and loaves no ability for such acts of duty and generosity as aro required by his situation and fortune. Suppose that he correct the vice, and employ part of his expense in the education of his children, in the support of his friends, and. m relieving the poor, would any prejudice result to society? On the contrary, the same consumption would aris'j; and that labour which at present is employed only in producing a slender gratification to one man, would relieve the necessitous, and bestow satisfaction on hundreds. The same care and toil that raise a dish of peas at Christmas, would give bread to a whole family during six months. To say that withen t a vicious luxury the labour would not have been employed at all. is only to pay that there is some other defect in human nature, such as indolence, selfishness, inritteutiou to others, for which luxury in some measure provides a remedy; as onepofcon may be an antidote to another. But value, like wholesome food, is better thin t poisons, however corrected.
Suppose the same number of men that are at present in Groat Britain, with the same suil and climate; I ask, is it not possible for them to be happier, by the most perfect way of life that can be imagined, and by the greatest reformation that omnipotence itself could work in their temper and disposition? To assert that They cannot, appears evidently ridiculous. As the land is able to maintain more than ail its present inhabitante they could never, in such u Utopian t-tate, frti any other ilia than those which arise'from bodily eickness, and these are not the half of human miseries. AH other ilia spring from eome vice, either in ourselves or others; ami even many of our diseases proceed from the вате origin. Kemove the vices, and the ills follow. You must only take care to remove all the » ices. If you remove part, you may render the matter worse. By banishing vicious luxury, without curing sloth and an indifference to others, you only diminish industry in the state, and add nothing to men's charity or their generosity. Let lis, therefore, rest contented with asserting that two opposite vices in a state may be more advantageous than either of them alone; but let us never pronounce vice hi itself advantageous. Is it not very inconsistent for an author to assert in one paire thut moral distinctions are inventions of politicians for public interest, and in the next page maintain that vice is advantageous to the public? And indeed it seems, upon any system of moiuiiry, little less than a contradiction in terms to talk of a vice which is in general bénéficiai to society.
I thought this reasoning necessary, in order to give some light to a philosophical question which has been much disputed in England. I call it a philosophical question, not a political one: for whatever inny be the consequence of euch a miraculous transformation of mankind as would erttlow tlu-m with every species of viriue. Mid free them from every ppec'es of vice, this concerns not the magistrate who aims only at possibilities. Hi; cannot cure every vice by substituting a virtue in its place. Very often he can cure only one vice by ¡mother, and in that cane hr ought to prefer what is least pernicious to society. Luxury, when excessive, is the source of many ills, but is in general preferable to fOoth and idleness, which would commonly sncceed ill its place, and are more hurtful both to pr vate persons and to the public. \Vhen sloth reigns, a mean uncultivated way of lift; prevails amongst individual?, without society, without enjoyment. And if the sovereign, in such a Situation, demands the serviré of his subject a. the labour of the state suffices only to furnish the necessaries of life to the labourers, and can uíford uothiiuf to those who are employed in the public servie«.
The great metaphysician and divine of America, Jonathan Edwards, was born in 1703, at Windsor in Connecticut, and died in 1738 at Princeton in New Jersey. By his power of subtle argument, his religious fervour, and his peculiar doctrines respecting free-will, Edwards has obtained a high and lasting reputation. He iias perhaps never been surpassed as a dialectician. Educated among the Calvinistic Puritans of New England, he imbibed their religious opinions and sentiments, and went so far as to assert that 'if the doctrines of Calvinism, in their whole length and breadth, were not rigidly maintained, a man could nowhere set his foot down with consistency and safety short of deism, or even atheism itself, or rather universal scepticism.' His definition of true religion, however, is one that may be adopted by all sects. He says: 'True religion in a great measure consists in holy affections. A love of divine things for the beauty and sweetness of their moral excellency is the spring of all holy affections.' On this passage, Sir James Mackintosh remarks: 'Had he [Edwards] suffered this noble principle to take the right road to all its fair consequences, he would entirely have concurred with Plato, •with Shaftesbury, and Malebranche, in devotion to the "first good, first perfect, and first fair." But he thought it necessary afterwards to limit his doctrine to his own persuasion, by denying that such moral excellence could be discovered in divine things by those Christians who did not take the same view with him of their religion. All others, and some who hold his doctrines with a more enlarged spirit, may adopt his principle without any limitation.'
Another of Edwards's doctrines, his ethical theory, relates to the principle of virtue, which, he argues, consists in benevolence or love to 1/ein;/ in general. This is felt towards a particular being, first in proportion to his degree of existence—' for, says he, 'that which is great has more existence and is further from nothing than that which js little '—and secondly, in proportion to the degree in which that particular being feels benevolence to others. Thus, God, having infinitely more existence and benevolence than man, ought to he intinitcly more loved- and for the same reason, God must love himself infinitely more than he does all other beings. He can act only from regard to himself, and his end in creation can only he to manifest his whole nature, which is called acting for his own glory.' This startling doctrine of necessity has been combated by Mackinwsh, Hall, and others. Virtue on such principles is an impossibility, 'tor the system of being comprehending the great Supreme is infinite; and therefore, to maintain the proper proportion, the force of particular attachment must be infinitely less than the passion for the genoral good; but the limits of the human mind are not capable of any emotion so infinitely different in ckgref.' The ingenious speculations of Edwards on the freedom of the will, and on original sin, must be held to bo airy abstractions, incapable of giving force either to moral or religious truth. He was, however, a zealous and faithful minister, and like most profound thinkers, a man of childlike simplicity of character. The warmth of his sensibilities may be estimated from the following account of his early impressions:
As I was walking Micro, ami looked up on the sky and clouda. there came into my mind so sweet л sense of the glorious majesty und grace of God that I know uot how to express it. God's excellency, his wisdom, his purity, and love, peemed to appear in everything: in the Him, moon, and shirs; in the clouds and blue sky; í i the grass, llowers, trees; in the water and all nature, which used greatly to fix my mind. I often used !o pit and view the moon a long time, and so in the daytime epent much time in viewing the clouds and sky, to behold the sweet glory ot' Ctod in these things; in tin; meantime singing forth with a loud voice my contemplations of the Creator and Redeemer. I used to be а регион uncommonly terrified y.ich thunder; and it used to strike me with terror when I saw a thunder-storm rising; but now, on the contrary, it rejoiced me. I felt God at the first appearance of a thunder-storm, and used to take an opportunity at such times to fix myself to view the clouds and ьее the lightnings play, and hear the majestic and awful voice of God's thuudcr.
Such outbreaks of poetical feeling form a strange contrast to the hard and stern arguments in Edwards's exposition of his theological and philosophical tenets. The works of this eminent person are numerous, but the most important are his ' Treatises concerning Religious Affections,' 1740; ' A Careful and Strict inquiry into the Modern Notion of that Freedom of Will which is supposed to be essential to Moral Agency,' 1754; 'The Great Doctrine of Original Sin Defended.' 1758; and dissertations 'On the Nature of True Virtue,' and 'On God's Chief End in the Creation'—the last two not published until thirty years after his death.
The Hartleian theory at this time found admirers and followers in England. Dit. David Haktley, an English physician (1705-1757), having imbibed from Locke the principles of logic and metaphysics, and from a hint of Newton the doctrine thai there were vibrations in the substance of the brain that might throw new light on the phenomena of the mind, formed a system which he developed in his elaborate work, published in 1740, under the title of 'Observations on JIan, his Frame, his Duty, and his Expectations.' Hartley, besides his theory of the vibrations in the brain, refers all the operations of the intellect to the association of ideas, and represents that association as reducible to the single law, that ideas which enter the mind at the same time acquire я tendency to call up each other, which is in direct proportion lo the frequency of their having entered together. His theory of vibrations has a tendency to materialism, but was not designed by its ingenious author lo produce such an effect.
DR. ADAM SMITH.
Dr. Adam Smith, after an interval of a few years, succeeded to Hutcheson as professor of moral philosophy in Glasgow, and not only inherited his love of metaphysics, but adopted some of his théorie». lich he blended with his own views of moral science. Smith was rn in Kirkcaldy, in Fifeshire, in 1723. His father held the situan of comptroller of customs, but died before the birth of his son. Glasgow University, Smith distinguished himself by his acquireints, and obtained a nomination to Balliol College, Oxford, where continued for seven years. His friends had designed him for the urch, but he preferred trusting to literature and science. He gave ourse of lectures in Edinburgh on rhetoric and belles-lettres, which, 1751, recommended him to the vacant chair of professor of logic Glasgow, and this situation he next year exchanged for the more agenial one of moral philosophy professor. In 1759 he published * Theory of Moral Sentiments,’ and in 1764 he was prevailed upon accompany the young Duke of Buccleuch as travelling tutor on continent. They were absent two years, and on his return, Smith ired to his native town, and pursued a severe system of study, ich resulted in the publication, in 1776, of his great work on the Wealth of Nations." Two years afterwards, he was made one of commissioners of customs, and his latter days were spent in ease 1 opulence. He died in 1790. she philosophical doctrines of Smith are vastly inferior in value to language and illustrations he employs in enforcing them. He has on styled the most eloquent of modern moralists; and his work is bellished with such a variety of examples, with such true pictures the passions, and of life and manners, that it may be read with asure and advantage by those who, like Gray the poet, cannot see the darkness of metaphysics. His leading doctrine, that symhy must necessarily precede our moral approbation or disapproion, has been generally abandoned. “To }. our moral sentints,’ says Brown, “which are as universal as the actions of mand that come under our review, from the occasional sympathies t warm or sadden us with joys, and griefs, and resentments which not our own, seems to me very nearly the same sort of error as it uld be to derive the waters of an overflowing stream from the sunhe or shade which may occasionally gleam over it.’
The Results of Misdirected and Guilty Ambition.
» attain to this envied situation, the candidates for fortune too frequently aban
the paths of virtue: for unhappily, the road which leads to the one, and that :h leads to the other, Jie sometimes in very opposite directious. But the ambis mau flatters himself that, in the splendid situation to which he advanees, he have so many means of eommanding the respect and admiration of mankind, will be enabled to act with such superior propriety and grace, that the lustre of ature conduct will entirely cover or efface the foulness of the steps by which he yed at that elevation. It many governments the candidates for the highest ows are above the law, and if they can attain the object of their ambition, they no fear of being called to account for the means by which they acquired it. y often endeavour, therefore, not only by fraud and falsehood, the ordinary and ar arts of o and cabal, but sometimes o perpetration of the most ‘mous crimes, by murder and assassination. by rebellion and civil war, to lant and destroy those who oppose or stand in the way of their greatness. They e frequently miscarry than succeed, and commonly gain nothing but the disgraceE. H. v. iv.–12
íul punishment which is (Tno to their crimes. But though they should bo so Incky as to attain that wiphed-for greatness, they art; ahyays most miserably iliaappointed in the happiness winch they expect to enjoy in it. It is not ease or pleasure, but always honour, of o»c kind or another, though frequently an honour very ill understood, Huit the ambitions man really pnrsues. Blit the honour of his exalted station appears, hoth iu his own eyes and in those of nther jieople, polluted and defiled by the baseness of* the means through which be гоне to il. Though by the profusion of every liberal expense; though by excessive indulgence in every profligate pleasure—the wretched but usual resource of rained characters; though by the hurry of public business, or by the prouder and more dazzling tumult of war, he may endeavour to efface, both troni ais own memory and that of other people, the remembrance of what 1м> 1ms doae. that remembrance «ever fails to pursue him. He invokes m vain the dark and dismal powers of forgetfulness and oblivion. He remember* himself what ho lias done, and tluit remembrance tells him that other people; must likewise remember it. Amidst all the gaudy pomp of the most ostentatious greatness, amidst the venal and vile adulation of "the great and of the learned, amidst the more innocent though more foolish acclamations of thecominon people, »midst all the pride of conquest and the triumph of successful war, he is still secretly pnrsuea by the avenging furies of slmrne and remorse; and while glory eeems to surround him on all sides, be himself, iu his own imagination, sees black and foul infamy fast pursuing him, and every moment ready to overtake bin» from behind. Even the great Ciesar, though he had the magnanimity to (lismis* litegaards, conhl not dismiss his suspicions. The remembrance of MiareaKa still haunted and pursued him. When., at the request of the senate, he liiul the generosity to pardon Marcellus. he told the assembly that he was not unaware of tin; designs which were carrying on against his ufe ; but that, as he bad lived long uöpugh both for natnre and for glory, he was contented to die, and therefore despised all conspiracies, lie had, perhaps, lived long enough for nature; bat tho man who felt himself the object of each deadly resentment, froiu those whoso favour he wished to gain, and whom he still wished to consider as his friends, hiul certainly lived too long for real glory, or for ali the happiness which he could ever hope to enjoy iu the love and esteem of bis equals.
DR. IUCHARD PRICE.
Dr. Нгспдпв Price (1733-1791), a nonconformist divine, published, in 1738, 'A Review of the Principal C^uestious and Pilticulties in Morals,' which attracted attention as ' an attempt to revive the intellectual theory of moral obligation, which setmed to have fallen under the attack» of Butler, Hutcheson, and Hume, even before Smith.' Frico, after Cudworth, supports the doctrine that moral distinctions being perceived by reason, or the understanding, are equally immutable with all other kinds of truth. On the other side, it is argued that reason is hut a principle of our mental fnune, like the principle which is the source of moral emotion, and has no peculiar claim to remain unaltered in the supposed general alteration of our mental constitution. Price was an able writer ou finance and political economy, and took an active part m the political questions of the day at the time of the French Revolution, lie was a Republican in principle, and is attacked by Burke in his 'Reflections on the Revolution.'
DR. GEORGE CAMPBELL.
Dr. George Campvjei.i. (1719-17'JG), professor of divinity, and afterwards principal of Marisehal College, Aberdeen, was a theologian and critic of vigorous intellect and various learning. His 'Dis